SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

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Negative #: 2002.3675

Clothing worn in escape from the Pentagon
Description: This material from Jerry Henson, Pentagon survivor, includes his tie, trousers, and ID badge.

Context: Jerry Henson, a retired naval aviator, was in his office at the Navy Command Center when the hijacked plane struck the Pentagon. Many in his office were killed; he was injured and trapped underneath a pile of debris. Henson was rescued by Capt. David Thomas and Lt. Comdr. David Tarantino.

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Pentagon shortly after the impact
Burning jet fuel caused dense smoke and intense flames around the area of the plane’s impact at the Pentagon.
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Pentagon office damage
An unidentified office at the Pentagon that suffered severe damage from the impact of the airplane.
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Excerpt from Henson’s Department of Defense oral history interview
Q. (767) So, you had a staff meeting? A. Right. We had a staff meeting and then everybody turned to their normal day’s events about 8 o’clock. I went from that meeting down to the Joint Staff to meet with them at 8:15. I was there on the Joint Staff, [...]
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Lt. Comdr. David Tarantino, Jerry Henson, and Navy Capt. David Thomas
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Statement from Jerry Henson at Smithsonian press conference, May 2002
“I’m with you today solely due to the actions of these two brave young men [Thomas and Tarantino]. My box [of artifacts] represents all of the possessions that came out of that horrible thing with me. I would wish that the viewers of these artifacts could [...]
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"What began as just a small name tag led us to this incredible rescue story..."
William Yeingst
September 11 Collecting Curator. Museum Specialist, Division of Social History




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©2002 National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution